Lord Goblin - Official Website

Lord Goblin

United Kingdom Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Lord Goblin
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Buy on: Bandcamp
Type: Full-Length
Release Date: March 10th, 2024
Label: Independent
Genre: Heavy, Power
1. Northern Skyline
2. The Wanderer
3. The Oracle
4. Freedom Rider
5. Thunderous Smite
6. Light Of A Black Sun, Pt. 1
7. Light Of A Black Sun, Pt. 2

Review by Vladimir on April 17, 2024.

As the saying goes these days, it's often hard to be original, especially because a lot of bands are afraid to break the boundaries of their music and go beyond. It's much harder when you are unable to find such bands which really give you something worthwhile or even more, but when I recently chatted with my friend Stole (Priestkiller of Oathbringer), he mentioned that he was really blown away by the band Lord Goblin, founded by former members of Red Warlock (later Negacy), who relocated from Italy to the UK. What really managed to draw his attention was the fact that the band plays classic heavy metal with black metal influences, fusing elements of both subgenres that create a very unusual and otherworldly experience. There are examples like Hexenbrett that plays blackened heavy metal, or the gothic/heavy metal band Tribulation which have a strong black metal influence in the vocals of Johannes Andersson, but trust me, it's not remotely close to what Lord Goblin does. Their independent self-titled debut album Lord Goblin was released just recently actually, on March 10th, and I sadly didn't manage to get to listen to it upon its release, so I guess the right time is now.

Lord Goblin's musical output is a very unique mixture of classic heavy metal and instrumental aspects of black metal, combining standard epic clean vocals, heavy riffing and mid-tempo drumming with tremolo picking, thrash metal/double-bass drumming and blast beats, while also including keyboards in a very recognizable 70's fashion, specific for bands such as Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and the Italian band Goblin. Just by listening to that unusual yet effective hybrid of classic heavy metal and black metal, you can clearly tell that the band is aiming for an occult and epic fantasy vibe that perfectly suits the atmosphere of both genres. Despite there being a great deal of catchiness, epicness and extremity from the black metal side of things, there is also a lot of musical progression which is heavily present in the overall song arrangement. The overall musical template of Lord Goblin has a strong emphasis on the element of surprise, where you're meant to be completely immersed in what you're experiencing but without being fully aware of what comes next. Sometimes you might expect one thing, but you end up receiving something entirely different from what went through your head, because as every song goes, you are constantly on edge waiting for something interesting to happen, and once it does, you are in awe of the moment that came to play. There are a couple of instrumentals on the album as well, that being the fourth track 'Freedom Rider' and the drum soloing fifth track 'Thunderous Smite', both of which prepare for the epic two-track finale of the album in the form of 'Light Of A Black Sun' which is split in two parts.

From the songwriting standpoint, you can obviously tell that it's very dynamic considering how Lord Goblin uses the best of both worlds, but never really going out of their comfort zone to provide something that is strictly heavy metal or strictly black metal. Lord Goblin is probably one of few bands that provides this kind of output where the oldschool heavy metal output carries influences of black metal, while maintaining as trong balance between the two, and that's a big contribution to the album's transition. The band obviously decided to take a big risk and what they did turned out to be quite extraordinary and captivating from start to finish. Something that caught my eye about the epic vocals of their singer Marco Piu, aka Lord Goblin, is that they reminded me a bit of Marko Hietala from Tarot, but I doubt that this was intentional or that Hietala's vocal style was influential to that of Lord Goblin. If there is anything else on this album that deserves a word of praise, is the occult retro styled cover art which was done by the indonesian artist Hellish Maggot, which perfectly suits the band's musical output and atmosphere that it conveys. On the final note, the album production that was handled by the band's guitarist Andy Mornar, has an amazing organic sound which checks all the marks for me, and surprisingly it doesn't make the black metal moments sound thin or weak.

Holy shit! Was this one heck of a surprise that caught me off-guard, but it certainly managed to satisfy my appetite and made me listen to it 3-4 times in a row. Lord Goblin's debut album is an exemplary work that perfectly proves that bands can surpass their boundaries and experiment with lots of different ideas, if they should dare to do so by knowing exactly how to focus on what they want to achieve. The hybrid combination of heavy metal and black metal is a big risk, but a risk worth taking, and that work turned out to be quite effective and very complex in its overall structure. I am curious to know what the band will do next, because this album piqued my interest in the band's work from now on, because this shows so much potential. If you haven't got around to hear this album, you simply have to check it out, because it will blow your mind.

Rating: 9.3 out of 10